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Love your Kidneys

Valentines Day is often associated with the heart, this year ADC doctors remind you to love your kidneys as well.

Dr. Vincent Tjia, ADC nephrologist, stopped by the KXAN studios to discuss the prevalence of kidney disease, how you can use the “kidney two-step” to diagnosis kidney disease early, and what Love Kidney Day at the Capitol is all about.

How do you know if you have kidney disease?

Unfortunately, an individual with kidney disease may be asymptomatic for years. Dr. Tjia says in most cases patients may not know they have kidney disease until symptoms become severe. In severe cases someone may experience fluid retention, elevated blood pressure and changes in urine. He recommends that if you have a diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure to get screened for kidney disease.  Likewise, if you have a family history, or are Hispanic or African American you should also be screened.  According to LoveKidneys.com, 4 out of 10 dialysis patients are Hispanic and African Americans are 3.8 times more likely to develop kidney disease than whites.

lovekidney.org Kidney two step inforgraphicLove your kidneys with the Kidney Two-Step

The Kidney Two-Step are two screenings that help doctors diagnose kidney disease. A patient who may be concerned about kidney disease may ask their primary care doctor to perform the blood and urine test that comprise this screening. The blood test looks at your blood creatnine levels and the urine test looks at specific proteins. The lovekidneys.com site has detailed information about how doctors diagnose kidney disease.

Love Kidney Day at the Capitol

30 million Americans are diagnosed with Kidney disease.  Texas leads the nation in the number of patients on dialysis and the number is growing each year. That’s why advocates are hosting the Love Kidney Day at the Capitol on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, 2017.   Patients, advocates, healthcare providers and doctors are traveling from all over the state to promote early screening and to educate legislators about kidney disease. Organizers hope to increase funding and programs to aid individuals with kidney disease and promote awareness and prevention.  They expect over 400 people to attend Love Kidney Day. For more information visit: http://www.texasrenalcoalition.org/kidneyday2017.html 

Parting Advice

  1. Ask your primary care doctor about the Kidney Two-Step screening (blood and urine test) especially if you are a diabetic, have high blood pressure or family history
  2. Control your risk factors when possible – making healthy lifestyle choices, keep on top of your medications and doctor visits.

 Resources:

  1. http://www.lovekidneys.com/what-is-kidney-disease.php*
  2. http://www.texasrenalcoalition.org/index.html
  3. https://www.kidney.org/